For fans of Inglorious, RavenEye, Rival Sons, The Treatment and Tyketto, said the press release. I’m a huge fan of two of those bands and two of them I really dig, so they kinda had me there. The band hails from Wigan, England and was formed in 2014. With two successful E.P.’s under the belt – one self-titled and one called Stone Soldiers in 2015 – the guys made an impression on Frontiers records who signed them for the their first full length album. As influences, the band – singer Anthony Ellis, guitarists Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh, bassist Matt Avery and drummer Tom Aspinall – cites everything from The Eagles to Pantera which, on paper, looks pretty cool, especially if you add the bands mentioned above to that list. Since I have never heard of these guys before, I have no clue of how popular they are, but apparently they have gained a reputation as a great live act after lots of touring and playing lots of festivals like Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell and Hair Metal Heaven. Since I love to check out new music, especially music that holds a connection style wise to bands I already love, I was pretty keen to sink my teeth into this record – and I must say, after one spin, it sounded really promising. But more spins were needed before the final judgement could fall. So let’s get around to business, shall we?
Opener “Karma” is a mid-paced, fat groover with big riffs and heavy rhythm and shitloads of hooks. There’s a slight nod back to 70’s hard rock and it comes out a bit dark but still sports some catchiness and there’s a chunk of 80’s hard rock in there as well. A very good song that bodes well for the rest of the album. First single “The Fear” is a straight forward, driving rocker that mixes melodic rock with mid to late 70’s hard rock such as Rainbow and Whitesnake. I wouldn’t call the refrain exactly radio friendly but it’s damn catchy anyway. The melodic rock stomper “Tell Me A Lie” must be a single at some point. With its more laid-back, but still rocking, verses and the instant catchiness of the hit-laden chorus I hear a hit coming their way – this is bloody awesome! Then it is ballad time – and what a ballad “Forever Alone” is. Yes, it’s a power ballad, but it’s very earthy, emotional and atmospheric. It’s pretty heavy and melancholic yet brilliantly memorable and a huge chorus that will make any fan of melodic hard rock surrender on the spot. Fantastic!
“Eat Your Words” is pretty much an in-your-face melodic hard rock ass-kicker with a very distinct melody and a really hot live feel. It’s groovy, catchy and a good song although I don’t find it exceptional – the four previous songs are all better. “Prisoner Of War” is more raunchy and ballsy with a blues influenced rhythm while the melody arrangements leans more towards 80’s hard rock where the chorus is a total KO. The mix of the rougher Inglorious style with the poppier Tyketto vibes works extremely well. Fabulous! The live feel also comes alive with the riff-happy, heavy hard rock-boogie groove of “Freak Show”. There’s also a slight Thin Lizzy vibe in the twin guitars and the chorus is a clear winner, to put it mildly. Yes, folks, this swings like crazy and what’s not to love about that? And Bigfoot just keeps ’em coming. “I Dare You” is a mid tempoed, über-groovy, fat, melodic hard rocker with a fist-in-the-air pumping rhythm. The heavy riffing marries fine with the mid 80’s sounding refrain, a refrain that glues itself to the brain – and I’m talking super glue, folks. Splendid!
“The Devil In Me” is a ballsy, bouncy, balls-to-the-wall hard rocker with a sleazy and dirty rhythm and a killer melody. The bad-ass guitar solo is very guitar-hero ish and jaw-dropping and it actually brings another dimension to the song. With a catchy but not very radio-friendly chorus, the tune is what we call an “album track”, big on hooks but without hit-potential – and I mean that as a good thing. This will kill live as well. Brilliant! The straight forward rocker “Uninvited” kicks up some dust for sure and it strikes hard with lots of attitude and punch. This solid rocker brings up a fine mix of old 70’s Zep laden groove rock and 80’s arena rock and will sure make for a good headbang when played live. They close the album with a slow and bluesy rock ballad called “Yours”. Over eight minutes long, this epic, bombastic and powerful tune brings out an emotional atmosphere that gushes all over me and leaves me hamstrung. A bloody fantastic number and a splendid way to close a great record like this.
Because, yes, this is a great record. However, their Eagles and Pantera influences are nowhere to be seen (heard) – this is a melodic classic (hard) rock album where the 70’s groovy hard rock meets the 80’s arena dito and to compare them to Inglorious is not wrong at all because they work at the same place musically. But make no mistake, Bigfoot are no clones, they have their own identity and sound. I haven’t heard their previous E.P.’s so I have nothing to compare this to but on this album everything falls into place – stellar song writing, no fillers, great musicians and a brilliant singer. The production is also right up my alley – it’s raunchy, heavy and ballsy but also clear and smooth where all the instruments are separated in the mix but also on a level where none of them overshadow the others. For everyone out there who loves classic rock with shitloads of hooks and catchy melodies to die for, then this is for you and for me, the 9 is very, very close. Highly recommended.
2. The Fear
3. Tell Me A Lie
4. Forever Alone
5. Eat Your Words
6. Prisoner Of War
7. Freak Show
8. I Dare You
9. The Devil In Me